What We’ve Learned
Monday, February 05, 2007 2:53 PM
Today is the one-month anniversary of Write On, METRO. We’ve had a great start to our blog – the first transit blog in the nation, from what we can gather.
As of 12:30 p.m. today, we tallied:
- 181 registered users
- 390 comments
- 15,410 views
- 19 posts
We have certainly learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t. We’ve had a chance to hear many good questions and hopefully, have provided some useful answers. You’ve been able to get a better idea of how METRO works and learn some of the “why” behind the “what.”
In the first blog I wrote, I said that our goal was to “spawn a community of interested readers who will engage in lively discussion.” But unfortunately, the conversation has been dominated by three critical voices whose response to each post is predictable: You’re incompetent, METRO is incompetent, and everything METRO does is a huge waste of money.
The attacks are often personal, both toward me and any commentator who defends METRO or writes something positive about METRO. Rather than encouraging friendly, healthy debate and conversation, these few are poisoning the blog environment and discouraging participation.
Jerry Springer meets the blogosphere. I personally prefer Nightline.
These individuals have posted 122 of the 390 comments, if my quick count is correct. That’s 31.28 percent of the comments.
Some of the mistakes they said we’ve made: wrong math, misspelled words (they’ve made some, too) what’s perceived by some of you as a long time to respond (contrary to one comment, these posts do take time to research), posts that have not been at a certain hour in the day (by their very nature, blogs are not posted on the clock), fluff and PR type material.
I have also been criticized for posting only one post per day.
So maybe it’s time to define what you can expect from me.
There may be misspellings or typos. Yes, I use SpellCheck, but our goal is an improved dialogue, not flawless spelling. Sometimes I may post multiple times a day, sometimes a post may require more research and background and take several days.
Not every single comment will get a response from me. If you have a specific complaint, compliment or suggestion, you may still leave a comment on the blog, but if you want METRO to take action, you need to write that complaint, compliment or suggestion on-line here on our main Web site. Or call: 713/648.0180.
Your complaint will be formally logged, a reference number will be attached and the complaint will be forwarded to the appropriate department for action. I don’t do that on this blog.
If you have a topic you would like me to address, or a comment that has nothing to do with that day’s post, you can e-mail me under “Contact Us” on the blog. Every e-mail will be read and forwarded to the right department, if needed. But not every e-mail will necessararily get a response.
Our User Guidelines states that comments may be reviewed before being posted. As of now, all comments will be reviewed before posting. If they are on topic, avoid name calling, use appropriate language and do not attack the comments of others, they will be posted. Of course, critical comments are allowed, as long as they follow the guidelines. Try to imagine: How would I behave if I were a guest in your living room?
This morning a comment came on asking about the Q card – but came in under “A Complaint That Didn’t Go Unheard” about the tweaked Route 68 to Cuney Homes. It was a perfectly legitimate question and comment, but I didn’t publish it because it was off topic. That reader needs to post that comment under “Q Card” or send an e-mail.
Speculation about personnel issues will not be posted. One comment about me was unpublished because, again, it was off topic and not true. To set the record straight: I do not make $300/post. I do not report to a vice president.
And my job duties, while dominated by this blog, include other internal projects for the president/CEO of METRO.
We hope you’ll keep reading our blog. Topics will continue to be news you can use – which seems to be what most of you want to read. But it may also include industry info, observations as a commuter and guests posts by other employees at METRO.
Thanks for joining the conversation.